From Soddo to Italy to Idaho

Eby in Addis - March 2007

I am amazed by God.  Truly amazed, and I’ve got a great story to share with you!

When Russ and I adopted Eby, we knew he had an older sister.  She was seven years older than Eby and they had lived together with their mother in Soddo.  We traveled to Soddo on our first trip to Ethiopia and learned that following their mother’s death, the children had been separated and M. (I’ll abbreviate her name) went to an orphanage nearby. We were told that she was then transfered to an orphanage in Addis and adopted by an Italian family.

With an old picture of her in our hands and her name on a scrap of paper we went to the orphanage in Addis.  The director told us that she had never seen the child and did not believe she had been adopted through them.  I was crushed and very concerned about Eby’s sister.  We wondered if something dreadful had happened to her or if we just had the wrong orphanage.

In August 2008 we traveled to Ethiopia again, this time to get Honeybee.  Russ and I headed down to Soddo in the hope of meeting any of Eby’s family members we could locate.  It was a wonderful, whirlwind that included a crazy trip into the mountains where we found Eby’s grandfather and extended family. Again we asked about M. but the only information we were given is that she had been adopted by an Italian family.

It broke my heart that somewhere Eby had a sister who was probably worried about him.  Less than two years earlier she had carried him on her back, played with him, and cared for him.  Now she did not know if he was even alive.  I hoped that one day God would answer our prayers and the children would find one another, but I couldn’t imagine how that would ever happen.

What we didn’t know is that in Italy there was a little girl, M., whose parents understood her need to know her brother.  When they recently returned to Ethiopia to adopt another child, they traveled to Soddo seeking any information they could find on Eby.  A friend in Soddo gave them my name and last week I got a message on Facebook from M’s father.

Can you believe it?!?  I can’t.  I’m still so amazed at what God has done, that I can’t stop smiling when I think of it.  We’ve exchanged some emails and pictures with M’s family and Eby  is so excited.  One day they will meet again and I am incredibly thankful that M. will be able to tell Eby more of his story.

I am profoundly grateful that M’s parents understood the desire of her heart and loved her enough to travel, ask questions, and pursue leads until they found us.

God loves to restore and heal the broken hearted.  Thanks be to God.

~Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

36 Comments

  1. Paula
    October 4, 2010

    Wow, that is a wonderful and wondrous story. I am so happy for you and Eby.

    Reply
  2. Megan
    October 4, 2010

    chills all over! so wonderful!

    Reply
  3. Sophie
    October 4, 2010

    That is just amazing, what a blessing that Ebby and his sister M have been adopted by two wonderfully loving families. God bless!

    Reply
  4. Celina
    October 4, 2010

    same as Megan – chills all over!!! Love it! Thank you God!

    Reply
  5. Sherry Gregory
    October 4, 2010

    God's movement among us is nothing short of amazing!!

    Reply
  6. carla
    October 4, 2010

    God is so amazing!! Sitting here crying and thanking God for His goodness!! So awesome!!

    Reply
  7. Abbey
    October 4, 2010

    Oh, amazing and wonderful! He is SO GOOD!

    Reply
  8. Julie
    October 4, 2010

    What an incredible story! God is so faithful! It seems that when we jump in with both feet, He blesses us with crazy, better-than-fiction adventures.

    God bless Eby and his sister, M.

    Reply
  9. Kathrin
    October 4, 2010

    Wonderful.

    Reply
  10. reneestauffer
    October 4, 2010

    God is SO GOOD! What an amazing story, I have goosebumps!

    Reply
  11. Laurel
    October 4, 2010

    Amazing! Beautiful! Wow, God!!!

    Reply
  12. Donna Jordan
    October 4, 2010

    What a beautiful story!! Praising God for his wonderful mercies

    Reply
  13. shannoncl
    October 4, 2010

    Amazing! God is good.

    Reply
  14. Sarah
    October 4, 2010

    Incredible!! Weaving a story back together..I love it!

    Reply
  15. @mkgivler
    October 4, 2010

    OH MY GOODNESS! Wow! That's so exciting!

    …I can't believe I heard about it on your BLOG! 😉

    Love,
    Mimi

    Reply
  16. Giann
    October 4, 2010

    wow. That is so exciting!!

    Reply
  17. Heidi
    October 4, 2010

    I love to hear how God tenderly cares for His children. That story gave me goosebumps!

    Reply
  18. Dawn
    October 4, 2010

    YEAH GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  19. Teresa
    October 4, 2010

    Praise God!

    Reply
  20. Doris
    October 4, 2010

    That is just fabulous!!! These answers to prayer totally strenthen my own faith!!! I am so happy for you, Eby, and M.!!!

    Reply
  21. Tonggu Momma
    October 4, 2010

    What an amazing story. I am so glad the children are now connected to one another.

    Reply
  22. mary.owlhaven
    October 4, 2010

    That is just awesome!

    Mary, mom to many, including 2 Soddo girls

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 4, 2010

      Mary, I didn't know your girls were from Soddo. It is a very small world.

      Reply
  23. Elizabeth
    October 5, 2010

    That is so great Lisa! What a special story!

    Reply
  24. PastormacsAnn
    October 5, 2010

    That's amazing, Lisa!

    Reply
  25. Susan PD
    October 5, 2010

    This is just wonderful and amazing news….and of course visiting Italy will be no great hardship!!…wow!

    Reply
  26. Amber
    October 5, 2010

    Amen! I love it!

    Reply
  27. Alicia
    October 6, 2010

    thank you for sharing….my heart is so encouraged. God doesn't forget!

    Reply
  28. learningpatience
    October 6, 2010

    Oh, be still my heart! I just love when God decides to bless us in ways that seem impossible!

    Reply
  29. jamie k
    October 6, 2010

    oh my word Praise Jesus! that is so AWESOME and so GOD!

    Reply
  30. Anita
    October 6, 2010

    Skype them! My in-laws are English and they've gotten to see and talk with our son with Skype. It's free and SO easy to use! Great story! What a miracle!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 6, 2010

      I think we'll try it. I just sat down with Eby this morning and showed him all of the pictures of his sister. He is pretty excited.

      Reply
  31. claudia bettoni
    October 9, 2010

    Hello, I am the mother of M. and I thank God for hearing our prayers! Finally, two brothers can feel and see each other sooner or later! I thank God for bringing me to this wonderful family, thanks to Lisa and Russ so that our children will be able to reconstruct another piece of the puzzle of their lives!! We certainly will come in 'Idaho to get to know, is our dream for about 3 years and now you have a face and a name! Thank God for all this happiness!! And you will be an opportunity to make a nice trip to Italy! We will see many things!
    Sorry if my English is not very good, but we know that Italians are not so good at learning other languages … let's say we try to do our best!
    An enormous hug and a kiss to all great by M. to Eby !!!!!
    Claudia from Italy – Bologna

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 9, 2010

      Claudia! Thank you for leaving a comment and giving glory to God for what has done in our two families. We are so thrilled and love all of the pictures of M. She is beautiful. Yes, you must come to Idaho and hopefully one day we'll visit you in Italy. As for languages, I am impressed with your English! I know only a few words in Italian and they are all related to food. Blessings to your family today. Love from all of us, Lisa

      Reply
  32. Bev
    October 10, 2010

    What a miracle!

    Reply
  33. Melissa
    October 11, 2010

    Amazing — I've got goosebumps all over!

    Reply

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